Police eye suspect but no motive yet
THE Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has identified a male “person of interest” who is believed to be involved in Wednesday night’s ambush of lawyer and incumbent Tuburan councilor Renante dela Cerna.
According to CCPO director Senior Supt. Joel Doria, although they already have a suspect, police had yet to determine if the person was the gunman or the mastermind.
“We are double checking all the information given to us by our witnesses,” said Doria, adding that they are still in the process of convincing witnesses to fully cooperate with the police.
The witnesses are worried about their safety, said Doria.
Based on the initial accounts of witnesses, police were able to draw up a cartographic sketch of the suspect’s face. Another witness was also able to provide authorities with the plate number of the motorcycle used by the gunman.
“Meron nang plate number kaso lang, ina- identify pa natin kung match ba talaga dun sa vehicle na ginamit (in the crime)” Doria explained.
(We already have the plate number, but we’re still trying to identify if the number really matches the vehicle used.)
“We cannot rely on one source of information. We have to be keen on that,” explained Doria.
The city director declined to release the name of the suspect and the reported plate number of the vehicle used to avoid preempting their investigation.
Police are coordinating with the owners of nearby establishments to secure copies of their CCTV footage to help authorities with the ongoing investigation.
Dela Cerna, 43, was shot in Sitio Candahuan, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City, on board a habal-habal or motorcyclefor-hire when one of the two men on board another motorcycle shot him.
The Tuburan town councilor who sustained five gunshot wounds on his upper body and pelvis is recovering in a private hospital.
He is currently being guarded round-the-clock by police personnel to ensure his safety.
The lawyer-councilman said that he did not receive any threat prior to the ambush.
Doria said that police were still looking into possible motives of the crime but dismissed speculations that it was a case of mistaken identity.
Doria pointed to reports that the perpetrator was tailing the victim at the time.
Rommel Mante, the driver of the motorcycle hired by the lawyer to take him home, was also wounded in the attack but was in stable condition.